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Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to TCFD

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:54 am
by jedimaster1227
After taking the bullet train back from Kyoto the night before it was time for our last day in Japan... A full day in Tokyo before we'd head to the airport to end our trip with Hong Kong Disneyland. This final day meant indulging in a few like-to's that we didn't get to visit during our previous trip as well as one final Tokyo Disney stop before we had to say goodbye.

Staying at the Sheraton Tokyo Bay (the same hotel we stayed at during our honeymoon), we got a later start, having lunch at Ikspiari Kitchen one more time before heading into the city. We were able to visit my host father (from my high school trip where I stayed with a host family in 2006--we visited the rest of the family for dinner at the beginning of the trip) for a light bite and a tour of Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi near where he worked.

After our visit there, we moved back towards Odaiba to experience teamLab Borderless, a well known art installation that had come highly recommended, and even more highly Instagrammed. I'll let the photo captions do the talking to explain that unique attraction, but I strongly recommend giving it a visit if you're into trying something totally unique.

It is always hard, especially writing about it months later, to reflect in the moment on leaving Japan. It is no exaggeration that the country is the most welcoming, polite, gracious you'll find, thanks so much in part to the people and their persistence of culture. Having visited three times now, I feel at ease knowing that my experience has been consistently warm and welcoming each and every time. I talked up Japan to my wife based on two weeks spent as a sixteen year old and let her experience what I loved about the country firsthand during our honeymoon years later. Going back once more, the common anxiety of travel--going somewhere you've never been before (because on this trip we were) and a place where your language is not the primary... Those concerns melt away as soon as you step off of the plane.

It is no secret that Japan is my favorite place in the world and Tokyo easily is my favorite city. I have a family there that I consistently keep in touch with, which obviously tints my view a little bit, but every experience I've had has left me in a state of not wanting to leave... And desperately wanting to come back. There's a feeling of sadness, if not dread, that comes with a trip here coming to an end, unlike any I've experienced anywhere else. That is the best and worst part about Japan--the bliss of a trip here happening, and the sadness that follows it coming to an end.

At least this time around we had one more stop left on our trip that we were excited about...

Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to Hong Kon

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:22 am
by Condor
Overall a great trip! You did several different temples in Kyoto than I did and they look fantastic. I love your Mt. Fuji aerial photos too.

Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to Hong Kon

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:25 pm
by Nrthwnd
All I can say now, is Kit Kats RULE! Thank you for that photo, Adam. :smile:

Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to Hong Kon

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:53 pm
by ytterbiumanalyst
That's incredible. I'm having a hard time picking which photo I like best. That stainless steel pillar department store is pretty awesome, and Mt. Fuji, and melon soda...so much to love in Japan.

Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to Hong Kon

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:41 am
by jedimaster1227
bert425 wrote:Seeing your explanation of what it is? yeah, that's exactly what it tasted like. I'm glad I tried it too, but it wasn't one of my favorites on my trip to Japan.


Definitely one of the more "interesting" things I tried on the trip... The texture was probably the thing that surprised me the most. Like a savory marshmallow skewer.

Condor wrote:Overall a great trip! You did several different temples in Kyoto than I did and they look fantastic. I love your Mt. Fuji aerial photos too.


The crazy thing is just how many temples there are in Kyoto to choose from... We had planned for several more and simply ran out of time. We're probably going to plan another day to go back next time to hit some of the ones we missed.

Nrthwnd wrote:All I can say now, is Kit Kats RULE! Thank you for that photo, Adam. :smile:


Seriously, the amount of Kit Kat flavor choices they have in Japan is overwhelming. There's a specialty store in Tokyo that we have to plan to get to at some point in one of our future trips.

ytterbiumanalyst wrote:That's incredible. I'm having a hard time picking which photo I like best. That stainless steel pillar department store is pretty awesome, and Mt. Fuji, and melon soda...so much to love in Japan.


Thank you! Mitsukoshi was worth walking around just for the visuals! We need to go back when we have more time to explore more of the Nihonbashi store--it really was crazy just how much there was inside.

Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to Hong Kon

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:52 am
by Canobie Coaster
Those Mt. Fuji shots are amazing. Great report!

Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to HKD1

PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:23 pm
by jedimaster1227
We landed in Hong Kong and quickly grabbed a cab (a surprisingly easy process) from the airport to Hong Kong Disneyland... Research and reviews pushed us to choose Disney Explorers Lodge as our hotel for the trip, and man was that a great choice! This hotel is part Animal Kingdom Lodge, part Aulani and part Polynesian Village Resort wrapped into one awesome package. The decor was right up our alley, and the view from our sea-view room was fantastic!

It didn't take us long to drop our stuff off in the room and make our way to the park by bus. It was a bit of a shock to find the park hours so much more narrow than elsewhere... The park opened at 10:00 AM (with the lands opening in successive phases) and closed entirely by 8:00 PM. This was great for us having just spent a week and a half roaming Japan at full speed, and thanks to the lower crowds, was more than enough time for us to enjoy our day and a half at the park. In this first day we arrived at 4:00 PM, so we only had four hours to squeeze in as much as possible, including the Paint the Night parade and the We Love Mickey nighttime spectacular on Main Street. We decided early on to plan those for our first night in case we loved them enough to want to repeat on our second night.

What was nice for us too was the fact that just a week earlier the new Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle attraction had had its grand opening. The crowds in this corner of the park were a little heavier than others, but it made exploring the rest of the park even easier as a result. The new attraction is a retheming of the former Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, maintaining the omnimover track and clamshell-style doombuggies, but removing the manual spinning controls from the former attraction. The new attraction replaced almost all of the former scenery with a mix of practical and screen environments that immerse guests in a battle between Doctor Zola's Hydra swarm bots and the titular characters from the films (Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly reprising their roles in the attraction). The ride sits somewhere between the classic Buzz Lightyear and its evolved form at Shanghai Disneyland, with less practical effects in this one, but more screens embedded organically in the sets. Honestly, I loved it. Paired with the Iron Man Experience (and the Iron Man meet and greet), this new Marvel section of Tomorrowland tells a cohesive story that feels like something that meshes with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is really amazing to see what is being done with Marvel in the parks.

We were able to get a decent amount accomplished in our first day, with our full day the next being even more production (photos from that day will round out the report with the final update)...

Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to Hong Kon

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:26 am
by Hilltopper39
Great report as always Adam. Ya know Tokyo Disney has been and still is #1 on my parks bucket list but I have to say Hong Kong is really creeping up there, the resort just looks fantastic. They already have some really unique attractions and with the new Castle, Frozen land, and the Avengers Campus coming soon I'm curious to see where this park eventually ends up on people's Disney parks rankings.

Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to Hong Kon

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:01 am
by Norwegian coasterfan
Great report! I really like Hong Kong Disneyland, I found it to be a very charming park with kind of a cozy feel to it. It also helps that the two times I have visited there have been very little people resulting in many re-rides and walk on space mountain :D

Re: Photo TR: Adam's Return to Japan & 1st visit to Hong Kon

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:38 am
by Canobie Coaster
Great report! The parade looks fantastic and this park seems to have some unique E tickets.